In 2019, 12-year-old Gage was excited to be the Honorary Team Captain for his favorite team, the UW Huskies. Sadly, his battle with hydrocephalus made him too sick to meet the UW Men’s Basketball players and fulfill his captain duties on the court. Gage has been battling tumors in his spine and brain since Christmas of 2016. He has endured rounds of chemo, seven major surgeries, and countless physical and psychological hardships. On the day of his captain experience, Gage couldn’t make it to the game, so he asked his younger sister Peyton to fill in for him. Peyton stepped up and became the captain for her brother and the definition of Sibling Strong.
At her event, Peyton, in her Honorary Husky Tee, shot hoops on the court before the players came out, toured the UW facilities, and was featured on the jumbotron. She was also able to meet future NBA star, Matisse Thybulle and make some jokes in between the national anthem and captains meeting.
AEF is passionate about being able to offer the same once-in-a-lifetime experiences to captains and their siblings. We know that cancer affects everyone in a family, and we want to ensure all members of the family experience the unique environment sports brings.
Flash forward a year later, and Gage was able to become the captain for the huskies. In January of 2020, Gage took the court with confidence and strength, shot hoops, and gave out high fives to Harry the Husky and the student cheer squad. Gage has been working tirelessly to regain his vision, balance, and core strength. He is determined to get back to playing sports and being a regular kid. At the UW Men’s Basketball game, he was not just a regular kid but a fighter, champion, and captain.
Gage helped pump up the team before the game and UW delivered with a big Win. And Gage was there cheering them on with his sister, a fellow captain, by his side.